Tag «billionaire»

Series Review: Ethan Frost by Tracy Wolff

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Ruined (from Goodreads):
He’s the last man Chloe Girard should love . . . but the first she ever could.

Ethan Frost is a visionary, a genius, every woman’s deepest, darkest fantasy—even mine. And, somehow, I am his.

He stole into my life like a dream. Turned my reality upside down and made my every desire come true—especially those I never knew I had. He demanded everything I had to give and gave me everything of himself in return.

But dreams don’t last forever, and ours is no exception. Because my nightmares are darker, and my wounds deeper, than I could ever reveal. And as much as Ethan wants to protect me, the secrets we we share will only tear us apart.

breakdown

Series: Ethan Frost
Author: Tracy Wolff
# of Books: 4 (Ruined, Addicted, Exposed, Flawed)
Book Order: Chronological; Connected (Flawed)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, New Adult, Abuse
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: January 2014 – January 2017
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

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Disclaimer: I never picked up Exposed or Flawed. Find out why below…

Why I Picked It Up/My Expectations:

I randomly stumbled upon Ruined one day and decided to give it a shot when I read the blurb:

Fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, Bared to You, and Release Me will be hooked on Ruined, an electrifying journey of emotional and sexual discovery that pushes two damaged souls to their breaking point—and beyond.

Considering I read all three series and enjoyed them (for the most part, read my reviews on each for my full thoughts on each series), I was willing to give this series a shot. Especially when I saw that there was no BDSM–do you know how hard that is when it comes to an erotica novel about a billionaire? I mean I get that in fiction, and especially in the erotica genre, that there are some “fantasy” elements but I really don’t think every billionaire male in the world is some Dom waiting for his perfect Sub…

Characters:

I actually really liked Ethan Frost’s character. He was charming and funny and I enjoyed the scenes he was in throughout the novel. He was just a genuinely nice guy who wasn’t all alpha male when it came to pursuing Chloe. I really wish part of the novel was told from his POV because I liked him so much but also because I needed a break from Chloe.

Chloe was kind of “meh” to me. I just felt like her character wasn’t anything I haven’t read in this genre before. She often got trapped in her head and often times her logic for things escaped me. I’m sure part of the reason why she would think certain things was due to her past but because you don’t know her past until over the halfway point in Ruined, I just felt like I didn’t connect with her as much as I had hoped. Also, she used the word “Churlish” at least three times–who uses that word to describe anything? I didn’t even know that was a word until I saw it in this book!

Plot:

Ruined didn’t have much of a plot–but that doesn’t mean that they were just banging like bunnies the entire time either. It was actually cute to watch the whole pursuit between the two of them but I really wished there was more going on. To be fair, pretty much every book like this follows the same first-book pattern by focusing more on the developing relationship and sexual chemistry so I shouldn’t be surprised. I was just hoping that in a series that is only 2 books long that there was a more suspenseful plot line going on.

Because Ruined ends on a massive cliffhanger, I was looking forward to see where Addicted would go.

Unfortunately, it too followed the generic second-in-the-series romance novel formula and I was getting tired of all the back-and-forth between them. Again, I struggled to connect to Chloe and even Ethan (who I loved in the last book) was beginning to irritate me.

There was a bit more plot to this one but again, I wished there was more to it. There is really only so long you can read about the same plot line before it gets boring.

The nice thing about this series is that it is only two books long so the plot isn’t dragged out more than it really needs to be **coughcoughCrossfirecoughcough**. This book was also pretty short so I didn’t feel like I wasted my time completely.

Why am I not Continuing?

I really don’t see a point for a 3rd book is what it comes down to. And, by the time I realized there was a third book, it was a couple years later. I’ve moved on from this series and I have no interested in the spin-off 4th novel; even if it uses two new characters as the leads.

Series Rating: DNF

Ruined 3/5 | Addicted 3/5 | Exposed N/A | Flawed N/A

overall

For those who want a contemporary erotica series that doesn’t feature an over-the-top alpha male or if you don’t like overly complicated plot lines, this is a great one to grab. To me, it just didn’t have enough going on to really “wow” me and the second book bored me at times. But, they are both quick reads AND the series is only two books long!

similarreads
Release Me by J Kenner (Stark Trilogy #1)
Bared to You by Sylvia Cross (Crossfire Series #1)

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Series Review: A Billionaire Love Story by Lucy Lambert

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: A Billionaire Love Story
Author: Lucy Lambert
# of Books: 2 (The Pretend Girlfriend, The Pretend Fiance)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: Third Person, Single

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: That I did not finish book 2 in the series: The Pretend Fiance. I was 40% through the book when I DNF’d it.

This is the second (and third) book that I have read by Lucy Lambert. Her Rocked by Him story I read last year and subsequently ranked as the 2nd worst book I read in 2013. However, never knock the power of Amazon freebies because when The Pretend Girlfriend popped up as Free on Amazon, I was willing to give it a shot.

The book summary for The Pretend Girlfriend is very misleading. For one thing, the book is told from a third person POV, not a first person like used in the summary–though this isn’t the first time that has happened with a book. I have mixed feelings about it being third person: I prefer first person but I have a feeling if we got to read every thought that went through Gwen’s head we might get easily annoyed with her. So perhaps it was for the best. Right from the first line of the synopsis, it steers us in the direction that this is some dark, BDSM-driven billionaire erotic romance. You know, the type where an unbelievable attractive billionaire falls for the common girl and changes his ways when he falls in love with her; that same old song and dance. But, this isn’t the same old song and dance; which I found very refreshing but not what one expects after reading the synopsis.

First, let me say that this book is not erotica in the slightest. There isn’t a sex scene until the 60% completed mark and it isn’t anything particularly steamy. There is also no BDSM–which is awesome because I really hate that and I hate that all rich guys in novels have that as their kink. So I really wouldn’t say that Gwen is his “property” just that he expects her to be available when he calls her (she is his pretend girlfriend for appearances and that requires public outings!). I also hate that the synopsis says that she owes “money to the wrong people”. It makes her sound like she is in some criminal ring when she really just needs to pay her rent to her landlord: hardly the “wrong people” if you ask me.

But I will end my rant there. I just wanted to point out that the plot synopsis makes this book sound like something it is not and if I went in with those expectations I would have been severely disappointed. Because we don’t get all that dark, edgy romance. Instead, we get a nice guy hero who is as vanilla as they come and a heroine who falls for him a little to fast (in my opinion).

Regardless, I actually did enjoy The Pretend Girlfriend. Maybe I just needed a lighter read and this met that need. But I found the book refreshing in a way. As I said before, BDSM really doesn’t do much for me (though I enjoy the higher-stakes drama that usually accompanies it) so I liked reading about a genuinely nice billionaire who didn’t want to own the object of his attraction. I do wish that his character was more developed though. He just seemed like he was missing pieces of his past to explain why he was the way he was. Gwen was the same though she was a little more developed in a way but I think that was because we followed her throughout the novel.

Despite that though, I really liked them together as a couple. I think they balanced each other out well and seemed to genuinely have common interests besides physical attraction. I just wished that things didn’t happen within a two week span or else I would have enjoyed it more. Not the best “pretend girlfriend” novel I have read but it was a nice light read and seeing as I got the sequel as a freebie, I decided to read it.

The Pretend Fiance was a little too over the top for me. And by a little: I mean it was extremely over the plot. Again, the synopsis is misleading. Who I expected to be the main “antagonist” for Gwen was not who I would have ever pictured in a million years and I think it suffered from that. There is no other way to describe the plot as other than stupid. It was so ridiculous that it hurt my brain trying to read it. While the first book isn’t overly realistic it did have that touch of realism to it in a fictional sense whereas this one did not. I couldn’t bring myself to finish it because both Gwen and Aiden were acting as idiots. I wish I just left these characters at the end of The Pretend Girlfriend because this sequel was completely unnecessary.

Conclusion:

While The Pretend Girlfriend is a nice, light freebie read its sequel really drops the ball off the face of this earth. This series was a flop. There are way better “pretend-billionaire’s-girlfriend” novels out there. And I think it is safe to say I won’t be reading more of Lucy Lambert’s work in the future, even freebies.

Rating: 2/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: NO

Similar Reads: Fixed on You by Laurelin Paige (Fixed Trilogy #1) and Break by Vanessa Waltz

Synopsis for The Pretend Girlfriend (from Goodreads):
If you’d have told me a week ago that I’d be a billionaire’s property…

Confident. Brilliant. Rich. Devastatingly handsome. Aiden Manning seemed to have it all. As naïve as I was, when he seemed interested in me, I fell head over heels immediately.

But Aiden Manning’s life held a dark side, one that he needed to hide at any cost. That’s where I would come in. My trusting nature had caused me to owe money to the wrong people, and Aiden was right there and ready to help, if only I’d help him out as well. Just one signature on a piece of paper, and suddenly I was bound to him. The ground rules I had laid out at the beginning quickly melted away, and I found myself being drawn deeper and deeper into Aiden’s life.

However, someone couldn’t handle that. An even more powerful figure in Aiden’s life would stop at nothing to break the two of us apart. It soon became clear that I might have to sacrifice everything I had to keep the two of us together.

The real question was: How long could I pretend?

Series Review: Modern Arrangements by Sadie Grubor

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Save the Date (from Goodreads): Aidan Iverson III, old money wealthy and blatant playboy, has never felt the need to be with one woman. Why, when he has the looks, money and a family name to rule the nightlife? And, when it thoroughly aggravates Grandfather? LILLIAN SNOWE, do-it-yourself overachiever, has a plan to keep her father healthy and living in the home where he raised her. But, how can she, when the hospital bills are piling up, the bank wants their money and she is hundreds of miles away from home? From the moment they meet, Aidan would have to be blind not to feel an attraction, especially with Lilli’s work attire and feisty humor. When illness, death, debt and a mutual friend, bring these two together, feelings are hurt and someone is insulted. It takes determination, sneaky actions and cockiness to secure the deal. But, even with an iron clad marriage agreement and pre-nup in place, there are those who would seek to destroy the spark threatening to engulf our couple in a happily ever after. So, Save the Date, because you are cordially invited to the seduction of Lilli Snowe.

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Series: Modern Arrangements Trilogy
Author: Sadie Grubor
# of Books: 3 (Save the Date, Here Comes the Bride, Happily Ever Addendum)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: January 2013 – June 2013
Source & Format: Own (Kindle Freebie)–eBook

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PLEASE NOTE: I have not read the last two books in the series, Here Comes the Bride and Happily Ever Addendum, prior to writing this review.

Why I Picked it Up/My Expectations:

I got Save the Date as an Amazon Freebie one day and I put it near the top of my to-read list. One of my favourite contemporary romances is the Marriage Bargain where two friends enter a fake marriage for financial reasons but end up falling in love–so I love reading other books with a similar plotline.

My Review:

Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with Save the Date. One of the main reasons was the writing style. There were a few grammatical errors (using the incorrect verb tense, bad typos, etc.) but I could get past that because it wasn’t overwhelming. It just needed a good polishing because it started rough (felt very immature to me) but I felt like it improved–or maybe I just grew used to it as I continued to read. But I found the flow of the plot and how it was written didn’t do much for me.

For example, Lilli and Aiden don’t really interact until halfway through the book–so up until that point it was a little dull. I missed the sexual tension between the two of them as that is one of my favourite aspects of this type of plotline. Also, a lot of time would pass between events (weeks to months) so I had a hard time keeping the timeline straight. I think the biggest reason I struggled with the plot/timeline was that I thought this series was going to be a series of books about different characters within the same world. But it is actually a trilogy about Lilli and Aiden’s relationship. I think it would be stronger as a series of standalone but connected stories because Save the Date felt like a very long prequel novel to me. Here Comes the Bride sounds a little more exciting to me but I’m not sure if I will read it.

As for the characters, I didn’t totally love them. Aiden seemed nice enough but he just seemed like he was a couple pickles short a jar (I mean when he was trying to convince Lilli he could have mentioned that he liked her as a person for goodness sakes!). I totally understood Lilli’s side of things and I liked her character setup but I felt like I didn’t get to see enough of her to particularly care. I just felt like the communication between the two in terms of dialogue and actually being the in the same room and talking to each other was lacking.

Will I Pick Up the Rest?

I’m undecided about reading the next two installments of this series. People seem to enjoy the sequels but they also enjoyed the first novel when I really didn’t. If it pops up for free on Amazon/Kobo, I might consider it but for now, both are a pass.

Series Rating: DNF

Save the Date 2/5 | Here Comes the Bride N/A | Happily Ever Addendum N/A

overall

I’ve read better “arranged marriage” novels and I felt like this wasn’t up to par with them. I won’t be recommending this to my friends anytime soon (or ever).

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Series Review: Heart of Stone by K.M. Scott

Series: Heart of Stone Trilogy
Author: K.M. Scott
# of Books: 3 (Crash Into Me, Fall Into Me, Give in to Me)

There is an epilogue novella called Ever After to be published

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes, though the novella is yet to be published
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Suspense, Mystery
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person (later books alternate POV)

Thoughts:

I was hesitant to buy Crash Into Me and read it but I hoped it would be like the Fixed Trilogy so I eventually caved and bought it.

The first chapter of Crash Into Me almost made me stop reading. It was one of the most frustrating opening to a book that I have ever had to endure. I encountered some stupid and naïve heroines but Nina is definitely in a league of her own. The best word I can think to classify her as is “delusional”.

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WARNING: this is a bit of a spoiler but seeing as it happens in the first chapter, I’m not going to hide it.

Of course like all cliché contemporary erotica romances, it all starts with a glance at a stranger across the room. I don’t fault the girl for being attracted to him–but what I can fault her for is her stupidity. She gets into his car and is simultaneously wondering if he is going to kiss her or kill her and chop her into tiny little pieces as he takes her outside the city. Um–what?! Why do you want this man who essentially kidnapped you to kiss you? I don’t care how good looking he is! Have some pride you stupid broad!

There are a few other prize winning Nina moments where she wonders if they are going to continue dating after meeting him for the second time; another is when she signs a contract without reading every page despite the fact that she knows something is up. Oh and keep in mind that up until this point she has probably only heard 20 words from him that weren’t a yes or no answer.

I tell you, the number of times I had to put down the book to take a big breath and pull my hair out is astounding–I’m surprised I still have hair.

Tristan isn’t any better. He is the stereotypical alpha male billionaire who sweeps her off her feet. I personally found it extremely creepy and I would be begging Nina to run if I was her friend Jordan–who, of course, thinks it is a brilliant idea to do all of this with a strange but rich man. Emphasis on the “rich” man part because his wanting to take care of her is all that her friend will need to be happy in life. *eye roll* I also found his character to be really unstable in the sense that he would appear one way and then another. His character and personality is never consistent throughout the book which is frustrating. I suppose it is attributed to his past but it really came out of nowhere at times.

*End Of Possible Spoilers*

Considering my rant, it is probably a surprise that I actually continued to read this book. I thought about giving up, but kind of like a train wreck, I just had to keep going. Eventually, it got better once some time passed in the plot. The relationship between Nina and Tristan got to be a lot healthier and I could sort of see their connection together. Near the end of Crash Into Me, we get more plot than their “intense” romance and it makes the story more interesting. I was still pulling my hair out and eye rolling as I read the last half of the book but I was “enjoying” the book I suppose.

Fall Into Me starts right after Crash Into Me but this time we are offered an alternating POV between Nina and Tristan. I welcomed this because it allowed for more insight into Tristan as a character. Even with the added perspective I still feel like I don’t know him too well but I suppose part of his appeal is the “mysterious” part of him. I felt like parts of Fall Into Me were added simply for the sake of making it “risqué” (just like a scene in Crash Into Me which was completely unnecessary). I could have done without them and I think the book would be better off without them. Overall,  the book was interesting and kept my attention though parts just felt like rehashes of the first book.

Give in to Me didn’t do much for me. There was only so much “I love you”‘s and sappy bits I could take before it started to take its toll. I just found it to be dull and even when the “suspense” part of the plot picked up, I just didn’t really care. Some good little twists at the end but not enough to wow me in any way.

I will be reading the novella, Ever After, when is comes out just for the sake of closure though I did like the way Give in to Me ended. I think the epilogue is just a bit of a treat for readers.

Conclusion:

While this series isn’t the worst contemporary series that I have read, it definitely isn’t the best. A promising plot just a poor execution and it really isn’t anything that I haven’t read before. I personally wouldn’t recommend this series to my friends because it irritated me at times; but it you want a story that is heavy on physical attraction and has a bit of a mystery to it, this series might be worth your time. Otherwise, pass.

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Release Me by J. Kenner (Stark Trilogy #1); Down to You by M. Leighton (The Bad Boys #1) and Fixed on You by Laurelin Paige (Fixed on You Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Crash Into Me (from Goodreads):
What would you give up for everything?

Tristan Stone was powerful, commanding, sex incarnate. And he wore it all so well. From the moment his mesmerizing gaze met mine, I had no choice but surrender to everything he was. His power. His decadence. His passion. He was all I never knew I needed.

He wanted to possess me, and I wanted to be his everything. All I had to do was accept what he offered. But everything has a price.

The world he gave me fulfilled my wildest dreams, but would that be enough when the past crashed into the present?

Single Sundays: He Belongs With Me by Sarah Darlington

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Two girls. One Leo. Identical twins, Maggie and Clara Ryder, both grew up with Leo Maddox, billionaire playboy, apparent alcoholic, and heir to his grandfather’s world-famous Maddox hotel empire. Their roles were cemented long ago: Maggie, as his best friend and Clara as his childhood nemesis. But when a simple twist of fate changes everything and both girls start to fall for the lean, mean, ridiculously sexy and seemingly spoiled Leo… which girl will win his heart? Throw in a little mischief, drama, and one smoking-hot bartender and lines are sure to blur. But one thing’s for certain, neither good-girl Maggie nor rebellious Clara will be satisfied until they each figure out where they belong.

Review:

I picked this book up for free one day from Amazon and just had to read it right away (Note: It is not longer free on Amazon but you can buy it for ~$1.50 CAD). It seemed like a lighthearted read and I really needed one at the time.

My one hesitation with the book was the insinuation of a love triangle between the two girls. I don’t really like love triangles (no secret there) but with a title like “He Belongs With Me” I wasn’t going to be surprised if there was some petty fighting between the girls–but if there was, I thought at the very least it might be entertaining. The good news (for me at least) is that this book isn’t really about a love triangle. I think it’s obvious to everyone as you read who is truly in love with who but I enjoyed watching everything unfold anyways. Basically, this isn’t a love triangle story to the extreme–it is an element that doesn’t come across as annoying or unrealistic as sometimes love triangles are. The story is mostly about each girl trying to figure out their love life and what to do about their relationship–though the emphasis is definitely on their love lives.

This book was easy to read and it came to a point where I couldn’t put it down. I just enjoyed reading it. It didn’t have over the top drama, it had great characters (though to be honest I’m not the biggest Maggie fan) and it had this element of realism to it. I could see this story unfolding in real life and I really enjoyed it. It also wasn’t particularly “sexy” if you catch my drift (and for those who didn’t, what I am saying is that there is very little sex in the story though it is mentioned and present). And that didn’t particularly bother me even though I enjoy “sexier” reads. For once it was nice to read a New Adult novel that wasn’t focused on all consuming love and dominate billionaires. I just enjoyed reading this book and I ended it with a smile on my face.

Conclusion:

I’m going to keep my eye on Sarah Darington’s future books. If you are looking for a light New Adult read that isn’t filled with tragedy, this is a great book to pick up!

Rating: 4/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Family, Chick Lit
Recommended for: 17+
Heat Rating: warmer
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Freebie Reads (Standalone) 2014
Similar Reads: Falling Into You by Lauren Abrams (Falling Into You Series #1)

Series Review: Billionaire by Vanessa Waltz

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Break (from Goodreads):

What if a handsome billionaire offered you thousands to pretend to be his girlfriend? And what if you started to believe the lie?

Jessica has never had a boyfriend, and that’s just how she likes it. She’s still trying to rebuild herself from a sexually abusive past, and a guy – no matter how gorgeous – would only mess up the fragile balance of her life.

Almost-billionaire Luke Pardini is gorgeous, that’s for sure. He’s also desperate. His dying father thinks he’s too irresponsible to inherit the family estate, and Luke needs to convince his dad that he’s grown up and ready to settle down with a girl. Any girl.

With five billion dollars at stake, Luke can’t mess this up. But as he pretends to date Jessica, he finds himself drawn to her more than he’d like to admit. He has been hurt too many times to count, but Jessica is the one person who makes him feel safe. It could have been a Cinderella story, but both of them made a promise that their relationship was just for show, and neither of them is going to step over the line.

When Jessica’s secret past emerges on the front page of the tabloids, his dad threatens to disown him if he doesn’t sever ties with her. If their relationship was only a charade, the solution would be easy. But if it’s not…

breakdown

Series: Billionaire
Author: Vanessa Waltz
# of Books: 2 (Break, Crash)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: –
Publication Dates: February – April 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Standalone review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

For some reason, as soon as I picked up this book on Amazon for free one day, I just had to read it. I didn’t go in expecting a lot but I felt like there was a lot of promise and it was a free, quick read.

The Plot:

While the book was quick to read it greatly suffered from it.

The beginning, as I said, showed a lot of promise despite being extremely stereotypical of the New Adult Contemporary genre. I liked their initial connection and how they meet (it’s a good combo of the current books out there) but it just moves way too fast for me from there.

Throughout reading this novel, I just felt like pieces were missing from the plot. In one moment we were dealing with this plot issue and suddenly another issue is brought up and dealt with quickly. The dialogue was awkward and it was mostly dialogue which made reading the story equally awkward at times. The story overall could have used an editor to just build it up a bit more and make the story stand out on its own.

The Characters:

Now, the characters are another story. Jessica was just plain irritating. Honestly, grow a back bone because as a female myself, I was embarrassed by your lack of self-respect. There is a particular scene near the end that absolutely floored me because she didn’t think twice about her decision when she should have. But she truly has nothing on Luke who was a complete asshole throughout the novel. I admit, I have a huge soft spot for asshat-jerk leads but even I have a limit! He was just a complete tool and not in a loveable way. Frankly, he wasn’t worth the time Jessica spent on him but I guess they deserve each other based on their stupidity alone.

The only positive I felt from this book was their sexual tension. Before I realized what idiots they were, I enjoyed the sexual tension between them but it wasn’t enough to carry the book.

Rating: 2/5

overall

I’m glad I got this for free because I would have had to punch myself for spending good money on this. Pass!

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Series Review: Fifty Shades by E.L. James

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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Synopsis for Fifty Shades of Grey (from Goodreads):
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

breakdown

Series: Fifty Shades Trilogy
Author: E.L. James
# of Books: 3 + 1 (Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed, Grey)

Grey is an alternate POV retelling of Fifty Shades of Grey

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Erotica, BDSM, Romance, Adult, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Smokin’ (BDSM: High)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!
Publication Dates: May 2011 – June 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Preface:

This will probably taint all future book blogs I do, BUT I actually did enjoy the Fifty Shades Series. Were they the best books I ever read? NO. Did I like all the sex? Not particularly. Is it the next writing masterpiece? Definitely not.

My Review:

So why, you might ask, did I (and so many others) like this series if my answers were negative? The answer is that I liked the plot and concept. Roll your eyes, do whatever you must but I am telling the truth–I enjoyed the plot.

Now, I’m not going to lie: so I will admit the truth that there is absolutely no plot in book 1, Fifty Shades of Grey. It is mostly just sex at every turn with little tid-bits of plot thrown in here and there. You know how most romance novels have three solid sex scenes at most and then the rest are just alluded to? Not the case here. I think in the entire series, there are only 2 sex scenes alluded to, the rest we all get to read.

What I did like about book 1 was the pursuit. It is a fiction novel and Christian Grey takes the pursuit to a whole other level. It’s over the top but I can appreciate that it is fiction and it can be over the top. I think that is the best way to read this novel–knowing that it is FICTION and not as a realistic storyline. It provides an escape from other romance novels out there which is why I think it has been so successful.

Fifty Shades Darker follows the evitable pattern of 2nd books where the couple has broken up only to be quickly reunited. But here, I find we get to see another side to Christian and Anastasia. Although Christian can come across stalkerish and a little too alpha male, there is a sweeter albeit darker side (hence the title) and we get to see that in this book. More of his past is revealed and that past comes back to make this book (and the last one) that touch more suspenseful (which is what I enjoyed about this series). I also really liked Ana. She was strong (although extremely naïve in book 1) but I think she grows as a character as the series progresses. I think in this book you really get to see why they are drawn to each other besides the sex.

Finally, the last book Fifty Shades Freed was also enjoyable for me. Again, it’s a little more plot driven and I like that. Not much else to say here without giving everything away.

As for the movie adaption, it can be done I think. There is enough plot in the later books to work with but the first one will be hard to pull off I think. And for my casting picks, I have a few in mind but we will wait and see 😛 You can read my thoughts on the movie here!

updates

–August 22, 2015– Book 4: Grey

When they announced Grey was coming out, I was a little excited. James had included little excerpts of Christian’s POV at the end of the original books and I thought they were interesting reads. While I would have liked one Christian book that encompassed the entire series (not just the first novel), I looked forward to the breakdown of what exactly Christian was thinking in that first book.

Prior to reading Grey, I read the critic reviews that it was just a regurgitation of Fifty Shades of Grey. “It has all the same scenes and dialogue” the complaints would say and I remember scratching my head and thinking: of course it does! It’s an alternate POV sequel for goodness’ sake! I think retellings have a fine line to walk. People want the memorable scenes but they don’t want the exact same novel again and I think that is a hard think to deliver for any author.

It has been 3 years since I read Fifty Shades of Grey so I don’t really remember every single detail of the book (and the movie doesn’t have everything in it). Therefore, I didn’t really mind the “regurgitation”–I feel like it saved me from rereading Fifty Shades of Grey (which I wanted to do in the near future to see how I feel about it years later and after being subjected to its harsh criticism for years). I thought it was in interesting insight into Christian’s mind and I thought James did a great job considering there really isn’t too much plot-wise.

Reading Grey reaffirmed my appreciation for Ana’s character and their relationship overall. While I don’t think her affect on Christian is realistic in real life, I do like novels that have relationships that challenge people to be better individuals. I like to think that love can save, especially in my books and I saw it again in this book. Do I think their relationship is something to aspire to? No I don’t and I like that it brings that much needed conversation to light.

And I really liked that this book emphasized consent and discussion between partners. Ana doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to. She questions, she tries when she feels comfortable doing so but she is always clear that she needs something else in their relationship and that if she doesn’t think she is going to get it, she will walk away. I think people think that because she is a virgin she is manipulated into something she doesn’t want but I never get that impression in either Grey or Fifty Shades of Grey.

I’m going to digress before I write a really long post, so I’ll just end by saying that I liked Grey and recommend that you read it AFTER you read the trilogy (if you did enjoy the trilogy) because it does give some spoilers about events/revelations revealed in Fifty Shades Darker.

Series Rating: 4/5

Fifty Shades of Grey 4/5 | Fifty Shades Darker 4/5 | Fifty Shades Freed 4/5 | Grey 4/5

overall

If you want to try a different type of romance, give it a shot but keep in mind it is over the top. It definitely isn’t for everyone though. I know that the BDSM label turns people off but I would say in terms of the actual scenes it’s a “lighter” BDSM than some novels out there (ex. Maya Banks’ Sweet Series) but if you are uncomfortable with the concept, I wouldn’t read this.

Read if You Like: alpha males, contemporary erotica, mysterious heroes
Avoid if You: dislike erotica, dislike BDSM, dislike alpha males

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